Staff at the Dickinson Adult Learning Center are preparing for the new school year in a new location.

With the newly built Dickinson Middle School now open, the Adult Learning Center will use the former Hagen Junior High School building on Fourth Street West as its new home.

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Officials at the center, previously located in the basement of an old fourplex on Fifth Street West, are looking forward to the added convenience of the move.

"We are now on the third floor of the old Hagen Junior High building and we have considerably more space now," said Beth Hurt, Dickinson Adult Learning Center regional director. "We are very excited about the expansion."

Dickinson Public School informed center officials last year they would be able to move into Hagen. With the elevators on campus, Hurt said the new building will provide better accessibility for the students to maneuver as well as better testing environments.

"Space and accessibility were definitely the biggest inconveniences," she said. "Because we do so much testing, it's difficult to have testing happening so close to where we would have our classes and other things going on just for noise purposes. So now we have a whole new testing room that's going to be sectioned off from everything else. It's going to be very quiet and calm; a great environment for people to take their test."

The learning center staff is working on making sure the faculty is ready for the new year. Desks and computers have been positioned inside the classrooms, while the walls have been painted purple and green to provide an energetic atmosphere.

"We're working really hard to create an environment that's vibrant, fresh and positive just because I kind of feel like we needed to get some life back into our program," Hurt said. "We've painted the walls in really fun, flashy colors to try and modernize the place."

The Adult Learning Center features Southwest Community High School, the West Dakota Parent and Family Resource Center, Regional After School Program and classes for English language learners.

Registration for the first set of eight-week classes ends on Sept. 5.